The construction industry must contend with numerous risks that other sectors rarely need to consider. Additionally, these hazards are often unpredictable—particularly as technology continues to change what business-as-usual looks like for construction. It’s a considerable undertaking to account for and mitigate the various events that can derail construction projects. However, understanding the emerging and evolving risks can help construction companies develop a risk management plan as nuanced as the complexity of the challenge.

Identifying Design Management Risks

Many safety concerns in construction focus on site hazards, such as slips, trips, or falls. However, several elements encountered during the design stage can derail construction projects well before the building begins. Some typical design-related delays include:

  • Errors or omissions in the original plan.
  • Clients or stakeholders requesting last-minute changes.
  • External factors that prolong the design phase of the project.
  • Subcontractor scheduling errors.
  • Missed deadlines due to unaccounted-for risks.

Construction companies must also consider emerging trends to manage risks during the design phase. For example, the government approved $1.25 trillion for infrastructure spending. Surges in population growth, urbanization, and government infrastructure spending are also driving the need for more construction. However, climate volatility, consumer demands for eco-friendly construction, rising costs of building materials, supply chain disruptions, and worker shortages make it difficult to meet construction deadlines and stakeholders’ expectations.

Not all risks are foreseeable, but construction companies can address avoidable ones during the design phase of the project. For example, virtual reality technology can allow designers and stakeholders to work together and prevent last-minute changes. Additionally, establishing a realistic timeline based on typical weather patterns, worker and subcontractor availability, and supply reliability can prevent missed deadlines and ensure work quality.

Design errors and omissions can result in significant delays, costly repairs or project adjustments, and a loss in reputation. While risk mitigation is essential, errors and omissions aren’t usually intentional. Construction companies need adequate insurance to protect their assets should a design error threaten a project’s viability. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about reducing construction risks.